They say all good things must come to an end, but for Jessie Poole good things, rather, come to a transition. And with that, E. Smith Mercantile will shutter on June 30. "It's hard to think of something you built as dying," said Poole, who's run her Pioneer Square shop-slash-bar since its opening in 2013. "I didn't want to use that word," she said. "Sometimes things move and slow and adjust in a way that gives rise to the next phase."
Last week, Poole quietly announced the closure on the shop's website in a "see-you-later love letter." In it, Poole wrote of her family's history of prolific mining which began in Idaho in 1864. But what was once a site of mineral-rich supply sources and a prospering community eventually ran dry—"no more gold," the post reads. Likewise, E. Smith met its early goals, says Poole. "I felt like we were really able to realize the vision we had for it when we opened."
Indeed it housed a back bar so frequented (and so tiny), that last year they expanded it to nearly double its size. Alas, bar sales couldn't recoup the slump in retail sales. But the tough decision to close wasn't solely a financial one. Pioneer Square's construction woes, especially along First Ave, is another blow. "The building's undergoing some construction evolution as well, so [property managers have] told all of their tenants that they'd have to be out of the building eventually anyway."
As Poole's forebears moved onto the next adventure so will she. But first: we party.
Before E. Smith closes up it'll host a few last events before final call. On June 17, a last supper and chef dinner (volume XXXVIII!) with the Pooles, family style of course; on June 23, a rummage sale and ice cream social; and a closing auction party on July 7.